Manchester — There may be a Premier League title race after all as a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham ended Manchester City’s unbeaten run stretching back to October, while Liverpool kept up their chase of the leaders by seeing off Norwich.
The gap between the top two is down to six points with a game in hand for Liverpool to come against Leeds on Wednesday.
Spurs’ win also reawakened their bid to finish in the top four, but Manchester United, Arsenal and Wolves were also victorious to keep Antonio Conte’s men down in eighth.
The battle to beat the drop also intensified with Newcastle, Everton and Leeds pulled back towards the bottom three by much-needed wins for Watford and Burnley.
AFP Sport looks at three talking points from the Premier League weekend.
Instead he blew the title race wide open by scoring twice and helping create Tottenham’s other goal in a 3-2 win at the Etihad that ended City’s 15-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Two of just three league defeats all season for Pep Guardiola’s men have come against Spurs.
When the sides met in August, Kane was conspicuous by his absence after a summer of trying to manoeuvre a move to Manchester.
Tottenham refused to entertain City’s interest in the belief that retaining the England captain was the best way of getting back into the Champions League.
That decision was questioned as Kane scored just once in the league until mid-December and Antonio Conte has made clear the need for improvements across his squad.
However, Kane produced his best performance of the season at the stadium he may yet call home in the future.
His ability to drop deep and make the play caught the eye before half-time as his sweeping first-time pass with his weaker left foot freed Son Heung-min to tee up Dejan Kulusevski to open the scoring.
Kane was back to his predatory best inside the box in the second half, scoring netting times, only for one to be ruled out by a VAR review for offside against Kulusevski.
“That’s one of the best all-round centre-forward performances I’ve seen all season, anywhere”,” said the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer Alan Shearer.
Diaz sparkles alongside Salah and Mane
Two of those were enforced as injuries to Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino saw new signing Luis Diaz start alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for the first time.
The Colombian, signed for £50 million ($67 million) from Porto in January, is seen as the successor to Mane, whose contract, like Salah’s runs out in 2023.
However, they showed the can work together for at least the next 18 months as all three scored to turn the game around.
After Mane’s acrobatic effort to level, Salah showed his poise to register his 150th for the club.
Soon after, Diaz had his first with a superb deft finish over Angus Gunn.
All three will relish the opportunity of plenty more against a leaky Leeds defence in midweek to pile more pressure on City.
Man Utd show spirit to weather Leeds storm
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Manchester United may have blown another half-time lead, this time after taking a two-goal advantage at Leeds.
Unlike against Aston Villa, Burnley, Middlesbrough and Southampton in recent weeks, there was response, as Manchester United went onto win a wild contest in a fiery atmosphere at Elland Road 4-2 to open up a four-point lead in the race for fourth.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick hailed his side’s response, with pointed comments after reports this week of a split in the United dressing room between captain Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Today it was important not only that we won the game but the way we reacted. That was the best possible response the team could give,” said Rangnick.
“A game like this one today you can only win as a team.”